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m3n4.net November 25, 2017


Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after Legionnaires' disease cases

13 November 2017, 12:24 | Louis Holland

Legionnaires' disease outbreak at Disneyland sickens nine visitors

JAN. 22 2015 FILE

Disneyland shut down two water cooling towers after health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaire's disease among people who visited the popular California theme park, authorities said.

A dozen cases of the bacterial illness were discovered approximately three weeks ago, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed to The Associated Press.

Twelve people between the ages of 52 to 94, who spent time in Anaheim, developed the disease, including nine people who had visited Disneyland in September before developing the illness.

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Symptoms develop 2 to 10 days after exposure, the OCHCA said, and include fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and headaches.

Of the 12 cases of Legionnaire's disease that emerged in September, nine were among people who visited Disneyland in September. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chief medical officer Dr. Pamela Hymel noted in a statement on the matter that Disney was informed on October 27 about the potential link the park had to the recent Legionnaires' disease reports. "These towers were treated with chemicals that destroy the bacteria and are now shut down".

After Disney took steps to get rid of the bacteria, the OCHCA "indicated there is no longer any known risk associated with our facilities", she said.

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The person who died had "additional health issues", doctors said.

The towers are near the New Orleans Square Train Station, more than 100 feet away from parts of the theme park accessible to guests, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman said Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cooling towers provide cold water for various uses at Disneyland and give off a vapour or mist that could have carried the Legionella bacteria. People who are particularly susceptible to the disease are older adults, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems. It is treated with antibiotics and hospital care, but one in 10 of those who contract the disease dies from infection.

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The county agency issued an order November 8 requiring Disney to take the towers out of service until they are shown to be free from contamination. Disney took the towers out of service on November 1, performed more testing and disinfection, and brought them back into service on November 5.



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